Life. It happens. Most things that life throws at us happen at the most inconvenient times. When you work from home, it can be both a blessing and a curse. When I'd dream about working from home, I imagined peaceful and productive days that left me smiling and pleasant to be around. Yeah, not so much.In the last two weeks, life's put a great deal onto my plate. It's like Thanksgiving at the relative's that can't cook but, you smile and work your way through and hope dessert will be worth it. My husband lost his job and my middle child broke her ankle and needed screws placed. So, the normal stuff that happens was amplified. So how does one focus on work when the spouse and children are home? Boundaries.
You must have boundaries. Rules. You must create an environment free of distraction so you can get done what you need to get done. Everyone needs to understand that this is protected time and, unless they're needing the sick bucket, they need to be able to entertain and cook for themselves. Now, if this means the kids get a little more screen time than normal, so be it. The spouse can take the laptop and go to a coffee shop or the library.
The children. If yours are school-aged, great! This means that most of your days can be productive. If not, get a sitter or enroll them in childcare. If you have a full-time 9-5 kind of job, there is NO WAY you're going to accomplish anything. Nope. Not at all.
The significant other. If they're able to leave, make them. I love my husband dearly, but he's noisy. I'm used to the sounds of the house or some nature sounds type music in the background. And, since he's looking for a job, I also nag. Which means I'm not focusing on MY job. Thankfully, he's understanding and doesn't get too annoyed with me. At least, not yet.
So what else can you do? Set up your area as though it were an office that wasn't part of your home. Get a divider of some sort, like a dressing screen. Even a sheet will do, if you need to. If you need background noise, find something you won't pay attention to. Let's say you live with roommates...noise cancelling headphones might work.
Get enough rest. When I don't sleep, I zone out. A lot. That's not good. Part of resting is taking breaks. Get up, stretch, read a short article about something that isn't work related, or just go make a cup of tea. If you miss gossip, because I'll admit that sometimes I do, check your social media. Just don't spend too much time on it.
The main thing is to find something that works for YOU. We're all different and what works for me might not work for everybody else. DON'T FEEL BADLY ABOUT SAYING NO. You have a job to do. You need to be your own advocate for your time and energy.
That's it. If you have any questions or comments please let me know. If there are any topics you'd like more information on, I'd be happy to try to answer. Until next time...